The FIFA 2018 World Cup is still a couple of months away, but ISIS is out with a threat to cause mayhem during one of the most popular events on the planet. The terrorist group began a campaign and posted a disturbing image of Lionel Messi crying blood behind bars. The image was picked up by an intelligence group known as the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Institute led by Israeli analyst Rita Katz.
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) October 24, 2017
According to The Mirror, the image was released by the Wafa Media Foundation – the mouthpiece of Islamic State militants. The image consists of words like ‘Just Terrorism’ and includes the tagline ‘You are fighting a state that does not have failure in its dictionary,' located just beside the picture of Messi in a prison suit with his name printed on it.
This is not the first such image released by ISIS to threaten the world cup. Last week they had posted an image showing the World Cup symbol next to a man holding a gun with the text ‘Wait for us.’
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) October 24, 2017
Another image talks of a massacre and says, "Oh, enemies of Allah in Russia, I swear that the fire of the mujahideen (soldiers in the holy war) will burn them, just wait". The terror group has been actively posting images of jihadis with rifles and ISIS’s infamous black flag.
ISIS has wreaked havoc in various parts of the world, especially Syria, over the past 5 years. With the World Cup scheduled in Russia in 2018, an influx of tourists is inevitable, making it a sweet target for jihadis.
According to the Washington Post, it is impossible to judge the seriousness of the threats. ISIS had previously threatened terrorism at past football events. In November 2015, ISIS operatives set off a series of bombs around Paris during a France-Germany football match and went on a shooting spree at a concert venue killing 130 people.
Russia on its part has assured the public that it is prepared to keep terrorism away from the tournament scheduled to be held next year.